Saturday, September 24, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 23 September 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says world leaders have made some progress on dealing with the European debt crisis but that more is needed. Mr. Flaherty offered that assessment after a meeting on Friday morning with his counterpart from the G20 grouping. The ministers met on Thursday and afterwards issued a statement saying they were committed to a strong international response to the problems of the global economy. Mr. Flaherty says his colleagues still need to commit their government to pledging billions of dollars to support European banks the survival of which would be threatened if the Greek government declares bankruptcy.


Canadian police intercepted 11 Romanian illegal migrants who were trying to cross the border on Friday on foot. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police intercepted the migrants in the border town of Dundee, south of Montreal. The group comprised four adults and seven small children. The RCMP had been tipped off by a U.S. border patrol that a number of suspicious people had been spotted near the border. The Canadian Border Services Agency is trying to determine whether the Romanians had paid a human trafficking network.


The government of the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan has announced it will finance a pilot project for a controversial procedure to treat multiple sclerosis. The government it will enter into a partnership with the Albany Medical Center in New York to treat patients with "liberation therapy." The government will pay $2 million to allow as many as 90 patients to take part in the experiment. The therapy involves widening the vein in the neck to improve blood flow from the brain. The Canadian government recently announced it would fund a clinical test of the procedure. Recent studies have cast doubt on narrowed neck veins as the cause of MS.


Hospitals in Vancouver will soon start a pilot project in which they will routinely ask patients if they want to be tested for HIV-AIDS. The project is meant to track down people who are infected early enough to allow for treatment. Dr. Julio Montaner of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV-AIDS says antiretroviral drugs are highly effective if HIV infection is caught early. Health authorities say about 3,500 residents of the province have HIV without knowing it.


Several native bands in Canada west coast province of British Columbia have asked its Supreme Court to issue an injunction to stop two forestry firms from further logging on their lands in the northern interior. The bands say the proposing logging in four river watersheds is a threat to their culture and way of life as well as their constitutional rights. The natives say previous logging by International Forest Products Ltd. and West Fraser Mills Ltd. has left their lands a patchwork of roads, clearcuts and sick pine plantations that are susceptible to pine beetle epidemics. The petition says the native are much more able to manage their forests wisely.



As expected, the president of the Palestinian Authority has asked the UN to be recognized as a member. The request by Mahmoud Abbas has been referred to the Security Council, where the U.S. has pledged to veto it. In a speech before the General Assembly, Mr. Abbas denounced Israeli settlements on the West Bank as making negotiations with Israel impossible. Mr. Abbas' demanded a state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. He didn't mention that the Palestinian Authority has no control over Gaza, which is run by the Islamist group Hamas. Shortly after Mr. Abbas spoke, the General Assembly heard from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said his country was ready to make painful compromises to achieve peace. But he said Israel wouldn't enter them on the basis of the country's 1967 borders because a return to them would expose Israel to rocket fire from the West Bank. He also accused the Palestinians of turning to the UN to avoid negotiations.


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran is in talks with Russia about the construction of more nuclear reactors. He also invited other countries and companies to bid to build new power plants. The Russian-built plant at Bushehr increased operations on Sept. 12 after more than a decade of delays but is still operating at only 40 per cent of planned capacity.


Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh unexpectedly returned to Yemen on Friday from Saudi Arabia. Mr. Saleh had been there for three months after being severely injured in an assassination attempt at his palace in Sana'a in June. His return is seen as likely to worsen the conflict between his loyalists and opponents who want his ouster. After his return, the president called for a ceasefire and negotiations. But after nightfall, his forces shelled the strongholds of a rival tribe and a military unit that has joined the opposition. The Saudis and the U.S. have been trying to broker a deal by which Mr. Saleh would resign in return for immunity from prosecution.


Pope Benedict visited victims of abuse by the Roman Catholic clergy on Friday on the second day of his four-day visit to his native Germany. A statement by the Vatican said the Pope was moved and shocked by their suffering at their meeting in the eastern city of Erfurt. Hundreds of Germans came out last year saying they had been abused as minors between the 1950s and 1980s and that the Church had tried to hush up the situation. The top German archbishop, Robert Zollitsch, admitted that the Church had failed in its response to the scandal.


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has returned home from Cuba after undergoing a fourth round of chemotherapy treatment. Mr. Chavez says the session was successful and will probably be the last. In June, Mr. Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba in June to have removed a tumour from his pelvis. He plans to run for another six-year term as president in the next election in October of next year.



Canada's energy minister has reacted to the involvement by several Hollywood celebrities in protests against a Canadian pipeline project. The pipeline planned by TransCanada Pipeline Inc. would convey crude oil from Canada's oilsands region to refineries in Texas. Joe Oliver says the celebrities are ignoring the need to improve North American energy security with the help of Canada's vast resources. The minister says the Canadian oil industry and governments have taken initiatives to improve the industry's environmental performance, including land reclamation. He also noted that oilsands mines have displaced only .1 per cent of Canada's boreal forest. Opponents of TransCanada's Keystone XL project says it will endanger vast underground water supplies in the American Midwest and encourage even more oilsands production, creating more greenhouse gas emissions.


TSX on Friday: 11,463 - 100. Dollar: US.97. Euro: $1.39. Oil: $80.40 - .11.




Hockey players are expressing shock and disgust at an ugly incident during a pre-season National Hockey League game last night in London, ON. Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds was skating during a shootout when a banana was thrown from the stands. Simmonds is black and says he hopes the banana wasn't thrown because of his skin colour. The league meanwhile called it a "stupid and ignorant action."



British Columbia on Saturday: rain north, mix sun cloud south, high C24 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: mix rain south. Nunavut: rain. Whitehorse, Yellowknife 10, Iqaluit 5. Prairies: sun. Edmonton, Regina 28, Winnipeg 26. Ontario: rain south, mix sun cloud north. Quebec: rain. Toronto 19, Ottawa 25, Montreal 22. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 24, Halifax 22, Charlottetown 20, St. John's 16.

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